Case Study

Salem Winterlude


Salem Main Streets and Creative Collective partnered with the City of Salem to create the Salem Winterlude initiative, bringing light and creativity to downtown Salem during the dark winter months.

This initiative operated in tandem with the Stay Local Salem campaign created by Creative Collective and remained installed through the end of winter and the annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival in 2022.

Project Timeline
Winter 2021/22


Our Team Helped to Install and Curate Artists for:

  • Upgrades to holiday wreaths and ribbons on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall with new programmable lights installed by Kylie Sullivan and Salem Main Streets Volunteers
  • Temporary mural backdrops created by local artists on Salem Common and Derby Square
  • Seasonal artistic installation at the East India Fountain in partnership with the Peabody Essex Museum
  • Decorated evergreens and mural backdrops by local artists for Charlotte Forten Park.
  • Custom fire pits throughout the downtown

Artists involved with the project:

  • Mural Artists: Charlotte Forten Park – Paige Besse and Emily Larsen, Salem Common – Hailey Bonia, Front Street/ Artists’ Row – Meg Nichols
  • Custom Tree Topper – Joey Nicotera/ Retonica at Lappin Park
  • Public Art Install – Toka and Jenn Close X Peabody Essex Museum at the East India Fountain

The partnership received a Winter Placemaking grant through Bench Consulting’s “Winter Places” program with funding support from the Barr Foundation.


  • Activated and enhanced the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall and adjacent public spaces
  • Encouraged safe outdoor and physically distant opportunities for residents to explore and engage with each other throughout the downtown district
  • Celebrated downtown Salem during the holiday season
  • Contributed to small business support initiatives as well as community wellness.

Links To More Photos


City of Salem
City of Salem
Salem Main Streets
Salem Main Streets